Microworld Adventures (Addison-Wesley) Review | Apple User - Everygamegoing


Microworld Adventures
By Addison-Wesley
Apple II

Published in Apple User Volume 5 Number 7

Microworld Adventures

Let's face it, the Apple isn't what you'd call a cost-effective games machine. With adventure games costing anything over £25, you could soon run up a hefty overdraft if you weren't careful.

Fortunately for the intrepid, but cost-concious, adventurer, there are quite a few games around now that will bend the brain without straining the purse. With July being traditionally a lean month - every penny going towards the holiday - I thought I'd highlight a few of the bargains to be had.

Equal first in the frugality stakes must go to The Secret Of Arendarvon Castle and The Antagonists from Addison-Wesley. You can be playing either of these adventures for a mere £5.95 - if you don't mind doing a bit of typing.

Both are published as paperback books. The first 60-odd pages set the scene while the other half consists of information on how to play the game, plus a complete listing for you to type in.

As you can imagine, it's no joke typing in a complete text adventure. However, the task is broken down into seven sections, the suggestion begin that you do one section each day for a week. This is quite a good idea, although obviously you don't have to stick to the scheme.

The programs are coded so that you won't spoil the game by typing them in. For example, most of the typing involves data statements containing such chunks as 6R49 5SKN 83T9 and so on. Each line contains twelve chunks of four characters, and a typical night's typing might involve 90 such lines. It's the sort of task you'd have to split into sections in order to minimise the risk of errors, despite the presence of error-checking routines in the programs.

If you've got some patience and a few empty evenings, either of these books will provide you with a reasonably challenging adventure. If you don't fancy typing the games you can buy a disc from Addison-Wesley at an addition cost of £6.85 each. This way you pay a total of £12.80 for each adventure and save yourself for the typing job.

The Antagonists is a tale of the future when insects dominate the world. To help in completing the adventure the book provides such items as the diary entries of the last human survivor, a book of flowers, and a brochure from the insectoland fun-park.

Arendarvon Castle has you following in the footsteps of a journalist who has mysteriously disappeared. The book consists mostly of the castle guide book, with a few notes from your predecessor.

The books are well-produced and make far better manuals than any I've seen accompanying adventure games. There's an evening's reading in each of them, and you'd need to read them before playing the games. My own preference is for The Antagonists, being a sci-fi rather than a detective fan. However, they're both excellent value and worthy of investigation.

Cliff McKnight

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